About Greater Latrobe School District
Located in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the Greater Latrobe School District has 3,400 students and 500 staff. The district is one of the first in the nation to implement a 1:1 student computing initiative in its high schools.
The Greater Latrobe School District manages more than 2,000 workstations and laptops across six different locations. One of the biggest challenges for the district's small IT staff has been imaging machines in time for the new school year. The staff often imaged machines from May through October, at the expense of working on other initiatives.
Without dedicated IT personnel in each location, a centralized IT staff was also struggling to support its dispersed desktop environment. Many issues required staff to travel to individual workstations to manually install updates or new applications. The district wanted to provide better user support, while making more efficient use of its IT resources.
Based on a recommendation from Computer Centerline, the Greater Latrobe School District selected Novell ZENworks® Configuration Management as its endpoint management solution for all of its desktops and handheld devices.
"Novell ZENworks Configuration Management has everything that we need in a single solution and it works great with Microsoft Active Directory," said Matt Snyder, technology specialist at the Greater Latrobe School District. "After seeing demonstrations of what it could do and how other customers were using it, we were hooked. It's quick to install, simple to use, and has a tightly integrated set of features."
Working with Novacoast, a Novell Platinum PartnerSM, the district implemented Novell ZENworks Configuration Management to manage its Microsoft Windows environment. Novacoast can now create a new desktop image in a matter of days, including the latest updates for Windows XP, and the district's IT staff can image new machines in minutes.
"Imaging is so much easier with Novell ZENworks Configuration Management and Novacoast has been really instrumental in the whole process," said Snyder. "We no longer spend our entire summer imaging new machines and users now have exactly what they need the first day of school."
Using Novell ZENworks Configuration Management, the district can easily distribute new applications to students and staff as needed, from a central location. The IT staff has the flexibility to create dynamic groups based on department, grade, class or location to ensure users are assigned the appropriate applications.
The helpdesk staff now uses remote control functionality to provide immediate user assistance, without having to travel to individual workstations to fix a problem. If the problem cannot be resolved in a timely fashion, helpdesk staff can remotely re-image the machine in minutes.
"With limited staff and the number of machines we manage, time is a huge factor," said Snyder. "With Novell ZENworks Configuration Management, we don't have to put other projects aside to effectively support users in multiple locations. Centralized desktop management helps us be far more productive."
The district uses Novell ZENworks Configuration Management for automated inventory and asset management. In the past, the district maintained this information in a static database with no way to effectively monitor software on each machine. Now the district can ensure that students are not downloading unauthorized applications and can also ensure proper software licensing compliance.
"We're in the business of educating children, not maintaining computers," said Snyder. "The more time we free up with Novell ZENworks Configuration Management, the more time we can spend researching new software, working in the classrooms with teachers and helping to incorporate more technology into our curriculum."
"We can't speak highly enough about our work with Novacoast—their support is top of the line," continued Snyder. "We can always rely on their technical expertise and support, which allows us to continue to focus on education."
By implementing Novell ZENworks Configuration Management, the Greater Latrobe School District has reduced desktop imaging time by 50 percent and can give students and staff timely access to the applications they need for greater productivity.
With centralized desktop management, the IT staff no longer has to travel frequently to multiple locations, which has reduced travel time and costs by 75 percent. Using remote control to provide user support, the helpdesk staff can now resolve issues 70 percent faster. Finally, inventory and asset management capabilities reduce the risk of software license non-compliance.
"Novell ZENworks Configuration Management has revolutionized our IT department," said Snyder. "Without it, we would spend all our time imaging and installing applications. Our management team is amazed at how much we get done with such a small staff."